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  8 Health Benefits of Having Fun What do having fun and staying healthy have in common? A lot more than you might think. Laughing with friends, throwing a ball for the dog, watching your favorite TV show, or reading a book might be called “leisure activities,” but the health benefits associated with some good old fashioned fun are nothing short of incredible. So the next time you’re feeling guilty for skipping the gym in favor of a reading a good book, keep these 8 health benefits in mind: 1. Reduced Stress Cortisol, known as the “stress hormone” or the “fight or flight hormone”  spikes to unhealthy levels  when we’re stressed. It’s intended to save our lives in a do-or-die situation; however, at low levels of stress (when there’s nothing to fight or flee) cortisol can cause weight gain and can even inhibit the body’s ability to fight off infection and heal itself. Having fun and taking the time to play reduces cortisol levels, which leads us to . . . 2. Sweet Serotonin

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